Research Project

DISCPICO: Design and implementation of control systems for PEM fuel cells and their integration into distributed electrical power generation systems

Type

National Project

Start Date

01/01/2011

End Date

31/12/2011

Project Code

DPI2010-15274

Project illustration

Staff

Project Description

This project is focused on Protonic Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC). The aim of the
project is twofold: to improve the PEMFC systems performance and to take full advantage of
PEMFC integration into Distributed Electrical Generation Systems (DEGS). The project results
will contribute to the definition of an integrated hydrogen based energy system, which has been
seen as a possible scenario for future energy supply in Europe. The project objectives are the
design, implementation and comparative analysis of controllers for PEMFC systems on one hand,
and on the other hand, the energy management and supervisory control that permits the
efficiency enhancement of Distibuted Electrical Generation Systems by means of hydrogen and
PEM fuel cell technologies.
Despite the great interest of the research comunity in PEMFC modeling and control, the
controllers described in the open literature still have to be improved and some problems remain
unsolved. The main challenges are avoiding slow degradation, achieving robust and reliable
operation, efficiency maximisation, and better energy and water management. These desired
properties of the controlled PEMFC could be achieved with the development of advanced models,
diagnosis tools, observers, multiobjective nonlinear controllers and integrated control structures.
In the distributed generation electrical nets of the future, where renewable energy sources will be
significant, hydrogen and fuel cells can play a key role for efficiency increase and performance
improvement. However, the operation of these systems has several aspects that must be
improved: security, reliability, power quality and accountability are required in spite of the
variability of injected power. With this objectives, supervisory control systems that implement
power management algorithms and coordinate the low level controllers have to be developed.

Project Publications

Journal Publications

  • D. Recio, C. Ocampo-Martínez and M. Serra. Design of optimization-based controllers applied to an ethanol steam reformer for hydrogen production. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 37(15): 11141-11156, 2012.

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  • A.P. Husar, S. Strahl and J. Riera. Experimental characterization methodology for the identification of voltage losses of PEMFC: applied to an open cathode stack. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 37(8): 7309-7315, 2012.

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  • C. Kunusch, P.F. Puleston, M.. Mayosky and A.P. Husar. Control-oriented modeling and experimental validation of a PEMFC generation system. IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, 26(3): 851-861, 2011.

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Conference Publications

  • J. Moré, P.F. Puleston, C. Kunusch and E. Fossas. Multi input sliding mode control of an autonomous fuel cell-supercapacitor hybrid system, 12th International Workshop on Variable Structure Systems, 2012, Mumbai, India, pp. 184-189.

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  • M.L. Sarmiento-Carnevali, M. Serra and C. Batlle. Distributed parameter model simulation tool for PEM fuel cells, V Congreso Nacional de Pilas de Combustible, 2012, Madrid, Spain, APPICE.

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  • A.P. Husar, S. Strahl and J. Riera. Experimental characterization and identification of the voltage losses in an open cathode PEM fuel cell stack, 3rd Iberian Symposium on Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Advanced Batteries, 2011, Zaragoza, Spain, pp. 349-352, LITEC.

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  • E. Asuncion, E. Castañeda and A.P. Husar. Propulsión del Segway RMP 200 mediante pilas de combustible tipo PEM, 3rd Iberian Symposium on Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Advanced Batteries, 2011, Zaragoza, Spain, pp. 441-444, LITEC.

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  • V. García, M. Serra, J. Llorca and J. Riera. Linear control design of an ethanol steam reforming process for PEM fuel cell applications, 2010 Fuel Cells Science & Technology: Scientific Advances in Fuel Cell Systems, 2010, Zaragoza, Spain, pp. 07-08, Elsevier.

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